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Thursday

April 2014

24

Year in Review

Let's go to the replay: 2013

Shawn Michels (right) runs in the hurdles at the Sussex Hamilton track and field sectional.

Shawn Michels (right) runs in the hurdles at the Sussex Hamilton track and field sectional. Photo by: Rick Wood

Oconomowoc navigated an outstanding 2013 sports season, from an amazing football run to titles in a boatload of sports to evolving athletics facilities. A look back at the highlights of 2013:

The level you know

The Oconomowoc football team reached the third round of the WIAA playoffs for the first time since the late '80s, enjoying a wild ride that featured an 11-0 run and the first Wisconsin Little Ten title in more than a decade. Quarterback Canton Larson earned Regional Player of the Year for his tremendous dual-threat season, and the team won a remarkable Level 2 game against Middleton with Larson sidelined by a concussion and junior Jason Brandl temporarily at the helm.

Eighties enough

In a game that will always be associated with the magical run — and remembered for decades — Oconomowoc won a remarkable 84-82 decision over Wisconsin Lutheran on Homecoming at OHS, clearing a huge hurdle en route to the WLT title by knocking off the perennial powerhouse. The zany offensive showcase shattered the previous state record for most combined points in a football game by 33 points.

Fields of dreams

The Athletic Fields Forever project took another step forward, with the construction of a tennis pavilion and final plans laid out for an artificial turf football field and upgraded track. Oconomowoc figures to have one of the best overall facilities (indoor and outdoor) in the state by the time the project concludes. The Oconomowoc School Board's decision to contribute $2.77 million to complete the project means everything could be wrapped by fall.

Mat Men

Oconomowoc won a dramatic Wisconsin Little Ten dual title — its first since 1998 — on the final dual of the season against West Bend West, then qualified seven wrestlers for state and landed three on the podium, including Logan Ballering (fifth), Michael Mohr (fifth) and Nick Gomez (sixth). Five of the seven state qualifiers returned this season.

Inner circle

The Oconomowoc boys track and field team emerged as one of the best in the state, cruising to Wisconsin Little Ten titles in all three league meets. Shawn Michels took third in the 110-meter hurdles at the state meet, the 4x200 and 4x800 relays took third, Zach Poker took fourth in the shot put, and the 4x100 took sixth, helping OHS grab seventh place overall.

Spring in their step

The track team was just part of the puzzle for a monster spring season at OHS. The school won conference titles in softball, soccer and baseball, on its way to the Wisconsin Little Ten All-Sports Award for a second straight year. Taylor Pampuch was named conference Player of the Year in soccer, and Renate Meckl (league Player of the Year) and Delaney Osterday capped their remarkable four-year career in style. The softball team won its first conference title in 31 years, and the baseball team won its first crown in 12 seasons.

Running down the dream

Sophomore Marlie Houston won the Wisconsin Little Ten girls cross country title, then took 10th place at the state meet in Wisconsin Rapids with her time of 14:48.94. Paul Timm also made the state cut on the boys side.

Setting up history

The Oconomowoc girls volleyball team reached the sectional for the first time since 1994, playing with a young unit that should be favored to get back there in 2014.

Schlundt departs

One of the most talented players in the state, T.J. Schlundt announced he would not be returning to Oconomowoc for his senior year, electing to play instead with the St. John's Northwestern Military Academy post-graduate program as the first undergraduate player to join the Lancers' ranks. Schlundt drilled a game-winning 3-pointer just before the buzzer in a playoff win over Verona.

The icy road

The Kettle Moraine/Mukwonago/Oconomowoc boys hockey team shared the Classic 8 Conference title but fell in the sectional semifinal in a heartbreaker to Whitefish Bay in overtime.

Other stories

·Augie Badura won his first match at the WIAA Division 1 boys tennis state meet, and doubles team Jaclyn Swift and Alexa Sabel also qualified for state from Oconomowoc.

·Sarah Konruff qualified for the state girls swimming meet, making the cut in both the 200-yard freestyle and 500 free.

·The Oconomowoc baseball team fell in five innings of a rain-shortened regional contest against Madison LaFollette, one year after the Raccoons appeared in the spring state tournament. The softball team also fell in upset fashion in the regional to West Allis Hale.

·The Oconomowoc boys skiing team, led by Danny Groskopf, took third place in the state meet.

·Melanie Watson of OHS concluded her pioneering career in the wheelchair division of the WIAA track and field state meet.

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